F & F Koenigkramer barber chairs began in the 1920’s as a result of a business partnership that turned sour. These chairs are known for having the world’s first foot-operated hydraulic lift. They were later branded as Reliance barber chairs. Although they are not the main product of the company, they were still manufactured up until the 50’s and 60’s. During that era, a lot of barber chair companies went out of business due to the arrival of Japan-based Takara Belmont Company.
F & F stands for Fred and Frank. They are sons of William Koenigkramer, a German immigrant in the 1860’s. The brothers invented a clog-free paint sprayer which became a bestseller to farmers. Fred and Frank were also really good at engineering hydraulic lifts. They were so good that the pioneering barber chair company in the United States, Eugene Berninghaus Co., later approached them and forged a deal with them so that their hydraulic lifts can be integrated into the Berninghaus barber chairs. In the 1890’s, the two sons formed F & F Koenigkramer. It was a initially machine shop business based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The 1920’s was a period of adjustment for the Koenigkramer brothers. First, the partnership between fellow German, Eugene Berninghaus, did not end up well. Business was booming for Eugene, and the brothers believed that the deal wasn’t fair. As a result, the deal was off and a new competing product was formed in the name of F. & F. Koenigkramer barber chairs.
At the end of the decade, a new opportunity came. The General Optical Company commissioned the brothers to build a set of medical equipment for its exclusive use. As with most companies in the country, production was temporarily stopped during World War II. After the war, F. & F. Koenigkramer decided to classify their medical products as belonging to the product line called, “Reliance.” As has been mentioned, the barber chairs were eventually adapted into it.
Due to intense competition, the company ultimately focused on medical equipment under the name, Reliance Medical Equipment. At this point, Koken Barber’s Supply Co. was purchased by Takara Belmont Co., and Emil J. Paidar Co. did not have the largest market share anymore in the barber’s supply business. In 1988, a company based in Bern, Switzerland acquired Reliance. Today, Haag-Streit AG has its manufacturing operations in Mason, Ohio. The same facility also houses the marketing department of Reliance and other sister companies.
i have an old reliance chair and want to know its value.
I have a chair and don’t recognise the logo on it. It is a sphere with lines. Is there anywhere I can look up the makers logo’s?
Send me a picture. [email protected]
I have a barber chair, the chair is 100 years old you are interested in buying it?
I have a chair that I need parts for please I need a front right arm bracket and headrest for a reliance
Thomas do you still need a right front arm bracket, for a reliance chair?
I need a right bracket as well but I’m not sure what the correct name for it is. It connects the arm to the foot rest. It as the number 729R cast into it. Can you help?
I have a F & F Koeingkramer chair from Cincinnati,OH year unknown; was re-upholstered in the late 1990’s however I have no use for it now. I am looking for a appraisal for it, and I am wondering on who to contact? I am in Rhode Island. Any hlep would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Do you still have the chair and if so how much are you wanting for it?
I have two of these, one fully restored, one unrestored in good condition. The restored model I can not figure out how to let the chair seat down. Goes up fine, where is the release?
You push the lever outward away from the chair to release .
yo tengo 5 sillas en excelentes condiciones y todas están originales son de porcelana llevan muchos años conmigo y me gustaría subastarlas o venderlas pues ya soy muy antiguas pero a un muy buen precio me podrían ayudar ???
I have the same Reliance chair shown on the photo above, its been restored
im planning on selling it
and i was wondering what would be its value. .
Trying to find a headrest for 20’s Koenigkramer barber chair any help greatly apriciated Also how do I add to the hydrolic fluid?
I am looking for a upper foot rest… and the 2 arms that hold it on the chair… if anyone has that for sale please let me know…
Hello, I have 2 F&F koenigkramer barber chairs both in decent condition. One of them still raises and lowers fairly well. They have both been reupholstered, i’m just not sure when. I was wondering if you were interested or knew someone who might be.
I recently came into possession of a Koenigkramer Barber Chair.
It lacks the headrest but all the rest of the chair is there.
I would like to sell it to someone who would appreciate it.
Can you help me?
I work at an Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician Practice and we have 3 chairs from 1973. The motorized parts are not working anymore and we have been trying to find someone to repair them with no luck. They are Reliance chairs but the foot plate says F&F Koenigkramer Cincinnati OH. Please let me know if there is any hope for these chairs that have been with this practice for almost 40 years!
I have a reliance electric hydraulic “exam” or barber chair model # 53811 in excellent condition …. could you possibly enlighten me with approximate year made ,general use and value . Thank you so much
I have a Reliance F&F Koenigkramer barber chair that dates from the 40’s or older. How do I find the exact date of the chair. It is in beautiful working condition and I am thinking of selling it to someone who will appreciate it.
I have an older Reliance, it’s stuck in the recline mode. Any suggestions?
My great grandmother was a Koenigkramer and was somehow related. I need to sign up for ancestry again I guess.
I have a F & F Koenigkramer Co. “Reliance” Chiropody Operator Stool with damaged seat cushion. Not a barber chair but I am wondering if is still valuable and worth restoring.
I have very old chair koeniskramer is green with child chair sit on. Like is 1940 either old or young. What is worth fair vales
I have a F.F Koenigkramer Vintagr Barber Chair I am looking to sell in very good condition. Not sure what to charge cant find one anywhere to price compare. If anyone interested
Hace Reliance serial #51917 medical equipment F&F Koenigkramer of Cincinati chairs (1950?60?), one just chair, recliner, other square style rerclines to operating base. Value? For sale. Canada storage location Thanx
I have reliance refracting chair, 600 series, can someone help me identify my chair and help me with the year
How do you recline a 1920s Reliance Barber chair?
I remember when working for Koenigkramer in the 1980s and inspecting replacement parts for Barber chairs. I retired from there in 2019 and still love their products.
I just recently purchased a pair of these chairs from around the 20’s. I can make them go up, down and spin around but I can’t figure out how to get them to recline. Anybody know how to get them to recline?